The UK education system is worldwide reputed for its high quality and standards.
In general, the British higher education system has five stages of education: early years, primary years, secondary education, Further Education (FE) and Higher Education (HE). Britons enter the education system at the age of three and up to 16 are obliged to attend school (compulsory education), while afterward is upon their choice.
Children in the UK have to legally attend primary and secondary education which runs from about 5 years old until the student is 16 years old.
The education system in the UK is also split into “key stages” which breaks down as follows:
Key Stage 1: 5 to 7 years old
Key Stage 2: 7 to 11 years old
Key Stage 3: 11 to 14 years old
Key Stage 4: 14 to 16 years old
Generally key stages 1 and 2 will be undertaken at primary school and at 11 years old a student will move onto secondary school and finish key stages 3 and 4.
Students are assessed at the end of each stage. The most important assessment occurs at age 16 when students pursue their GCSE’s or General Certificate of Secondary Education. Once students complete their GCSE’s they have the choice to go onto further education and then potential higher education, or finish school and go into the working world.
Our overview of the education system in the UK is divided into five main sections:
Primary education begins in the UK at age 5 and continues until age 11, comprising key stages one and two under the UK educational system.
From age 11 to 16, students will enter secondary school for key stages three and four and to start their move towards taking the GCSE’s – learn more about secondary education in the UK and what it will involve. Primary and secondary education is mandatory in the UK; after age 16, education is optional.
Once a student finishes secondary education they have the option to extend into further education to take their A-Levels, GNVQ’s, BTEC’s or other such qualifications. UK students planning to go to college or university must complete further education.
Based on the actual education regulations in the UK education system, the Higher Education comprises these levels of courses: Postgraduate courses that lead to a Doctorate, a Master’s degree (Taught or Research), Postgraduate diplomas, postgraduate certificates of education (PGCE) and professional degrees.
In particular, the UK higher education is valued all over the world for its renowned standards and quality.